Indigenous woman sentenced to jail for encroachment

The Supreme Court has sentenced an indigenous Karen woman to 2 years and 8 months in prison for encroaching on National Park land despite pleas that the piece of land was passed down through her family.

Wansao Phungam is an indigenous Karen woman who lives in Tha Salao village in Nong Ya Plong District, Phetchaburi Province – one of the indigenous Karen communities on the edge of the Kaeng Krachan National Park. She has been living and working on a piece of land she inherited from her parents, and insisted that she has never encroached on the National Park. But when the government launched the One Map Project in 2016, the borders of Kaeng Krachan National Park were redrawn and Wansao’s land was included inside the Park.

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