Thai villagers face greater threat under new national parks law

Thailand’s new national parks will impose stricter penalties to further limit the rights of Thai farmers and indigenous people, land rights activists and analysts said on Friday, after a series of convictions highlighted their vulnerability.

Under the National Parks Act, which was unveiled by the government last week and will come into effect in six months, those convicted of encroachment and other offences could face up to 20 years in prison and 2 million baht ($63,755) fines.

While the new law allows people who have traditionally lived in or near parks to access them and use some resources, the power to give permission rests solely with authorities, said Emilie Pradichit, director of human rights group Manushya Foundation.

Keep reading

Rina Chandran