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Chiang Khong District Villagers Protest Against Special Economic Zone on Public Forest






CHIANG RAI – Dr Nirun Pitakwatchara, chair of a subcommittee for the National Human Rights Commission has agreed to consider a petition by villagers of a community in Chiang Rai who have protested against the planned setting up of a special economic zone on a public forest.

Dr Nirun Pitakwatchara, said Tuesday that he would invite representatives of Village 2, Tambon Boonruang, Chiang Khong district and authorities concerned to give their sides of the story in October.

The community has a right to protect the public forest because villagers have been living there for generations and they also have the right to protest if they feel their common property is threatened, said Dr Nirun.

The proposed economic zone covering a total area of 3,015 rai is mostly located in Rim Nam Ing forest.

Mr Thanom Uttama, chair of the Loom Nam Ing community, said that the villagers were very anxious about the economic zone project and would join a public forum to be held Wednesday.

He said he hoped the organizer of the forum would give full opportunity to the villagers to air their views.

The villagers, he said, have vowed to protect the forest and would not allow it to be used to accommodate factories.

Meanwhile, Mr Sa-nguan Sornklinsakul, vice president of Chiang Rai Chamber of Commerce, said there would definitely be industrial factories in the economic zone but they would be light industries. – Thai PBS

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