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Land Encroachers Blamed For Horrific Landslide In Thai South

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SPECIAL REPORT

Land encroachers blamed

By PONGPHON SARNSAMAK,

JANJIRA PONGRAI

THE NATION

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Clearing of jungle to grow rubber, oil palm aggravated or directly caused landslide that killed at least 40

Rampant encroachment on forestland to carve out rubber and oil palm plantations has been blamed for exacerbating if not directly causing the horrific landslide that killed at least 40 people during the off-season storm in the South last week.

"There are no trees to hold the ground and prevent landslides," Natural Resources and Environment Minister Suwit Khunkitti said yesterday.

Swaths of jungle were levelled to plant rubber trees, which could not keep the ground surface stable and slow down flashfloods, he said. The ministry last year surveyed forest encroachment and counted over 60 landslides in the North and South.

Cutting trees down and planting rubber trees in designated natural preserves had caused landslides and flashfloods in these two regions, he said.

"I instructed forestry officials to arrest people who encroached on forest reserves and destroy rubber trees that had been planted in forest areas," he said.

Teeraphat Prayoonsit, deputy director-general of the Natural Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department, said over 500,000 rai of rubber plantations were located in forest conservation areas especially in the northern and southern provinces.

In the South, the para rubber plantations were concentrated on the Banthat Mountain range, Khao Poo Khao Ya National Park and some parts of Nakhon Si Thammarat.

The agency would inspect the forest areas that were damaged by flashfloods and landslides after the floodwaters recede.

Most landslides had occurred on low flatland found to be occupied by large rubber and oil palm plantations, he said.

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"We will strictly control the usage of land resources especially the cultivation of lowland as it would be at risk of disasters. We will also examine land ownership in these areas," he said.

The department still needs the cooperation of villagers to reforest the destroyed areas, he said, adding that large plantations should not be allowed in forest conservation areas or reserved areas.

Lertsin Raksaskulwong, director of the Mineral Resources Department's Environmental Geology and Geohazards Bureau, said there were several factors behind the landslides in the southern provinces during the torrential rains last week.

Granite and limestone that are easily damaged during flashfloods are the dominant geologic setting. There is also a lot of high and steep mountains that have been classified as high risk for landslides.

The massive forest encroachment and heavy rains during the past week were the main causes of landslides in the southern provinces, he added.

Anond Snidvongs, director of the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency, said the flashfloods and landslides in the southern provinces were caused by extreme rainfall. Most of the mudslides had occurred on slopes, which smashed people's houses and property.

Most of the roads under construction had also blocked the flow of rainwater, he added.

Royol Chitradon, director of the Hydro and Agro Informatics Institute, said most of the rubber trees planted in southern provinces do not have taproots to absorb water and hold the ground to prevent landslides and flashfloods.

Jongrak Songrattanaphan, chief of Krabi's Natural Resources and Environment office, said the landslides in Krabi during past week were caused by the geologic setting and heavy downpours especially in Khaopranombenja National Park.

In Krabi, about 1 million rai of forest areas were classified as forest reserves. About 500,000 rai of the forest areas were distributed to landless people under the Sor Por Kor agrarian reform scheme.

Few forest reserves were entered by local people to plant rubber trees. Only 1,000 rai of forest reserves were encroached on this way a year, he added.

Saran Jaisa-ard, chief of Nakhon Si Thammarat Protected Area Regional Office 5, said severe landslides, which occurred in four areas in the province, were caused by heavy rain and geological features.

The Natural Resources and Environment Ministry recorded over 30 landslides and eight flashfloods in eight southern provinces from March 24-31.

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-- The Nation 2011-04-04

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"landslide that killed ... causing the horrific landslide that killed ... prevent landslides ... slow down flashfloods ... counted over 60 landslides ... had caused landslides and flashfloods ... areas that were damaged by flashfloods and landslides after the floodwaters recede ... Most landslides had occurred ... factors behind the landslides ... damaged during flashfloods ... high risk for landslides ... the main causes of landslides ... the flashfloods and landslides in the southern provinces ... Most of the mudslides had occurred ... the ground to prevent landslides and flashfloods ... said the landslides ... said severe landslides... recorded over 30 landslides and eight flashfloods"

it's possible to write a long article with just a few words, just by repeating them in different combinations. Good journalism.

Edited by londonthai

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Or, indeed, to sum up an article quote in a few words:

"We will strictly control the usage of land resources especially the cultivation of lowland as it would be at risk of disasters. We will also examine land ownership in these areas," he said.

Lock ... stable ... door ... after ... horse ... bolted

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Or, indeed, to sum up an article quote in a few words:

"We will strictly control the usage of land resources especially the cultivation of lowland as it would be at risk of disasters. We will also examine land ownership in these areas," he said.

Lock ... stable ... door ... after ... horse ... bolted

But it was cultivation of upper land that cause the land slides and the lower land is where the people lived and farmed for food....

So nothing about the plantation guys, but just control the poor residents from living in landslide areas caused by the plantation guys.

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Indeed, those lowland farmers should know to move their villages once the plantation guys illegally strip the forest. Whats wrong with them, eh?

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"landslide that killed ... causing the horrific landslide that killed ... prevent landslides ... slow down flashfloods ... counted over 60 landslides ... had caused landslides and flashfloods ... areas that were damaged by flashfloods and landslides after the floodwaters recede ... Most landslides had occurred ... factors behind the landslides ... damaged during flashfloods ... high risk for landslides ... the main causes of landslides ... the flashfloods and landslides in the southern provinces ... Most of the mudslides had occurred ... the ground to prevent landslides and flashfloods ... said the landslides ... said severe landslides... recorded over 30 landslides and eight flashfloods"

it's possible to write a long article with just a few words, just by repeating them in different combinations. Good journalism.

Apparently not too easy.... easy this is not...Not apparently.....too easy ? NOT!!!

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Indeed, those lowland farmers should know to move their villages once the plantation guys illegally strip the forest. Whats wrong with them, eh?

Whats wrong with YOU more pertinently??? Yeh, simple, just like that!! just uproot the whole village and move to ...........well, somewhere - where exactly do you suggest they go and who is going to provide them with the money to do this??? Wouldn't it just be fairer and easier to thwart the illegal acts of the greedy, unlicensed plantation owners (fine them heavily in the process) and stop them from carrying out this irresponsible trade that is making the land unstable by tearing up their trees (like they do in the illegal opium poppy fields in Afghanistan and Lebanon for example) where they spray the plants with defoliants or pull them from the ground.

If they HAVE obtained permission to grow palm or rubber tree's in areas that are not now deemed safe or suitable then compensate them and uproot their trees so as to return the land back to what it was before (how mother nature intended).

People like you really irk me when they adopt stupidly simplistic ideas that are unfeasible and blame those that have been wronged and not those that have wronged (both the illegal tree planters and those government officials that so misguidedly gave them permission to grow their trees where they shouldn't have been allowed to) for a nice little back hander, no doubt!!!

Another thing, who would you imagine out of the villagers and 'plantation guys' as you put it, were THERE FIRST!!! Do you think that the villagers encroached on the 'plantation guys' land and plantations????

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thai attitude : blame it on somebody else, as long as you do not blame it on me

WHO OWNS ALL THOSE PLANTATIONS???? yes rich chines thai elite

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Indeed, those lowland farmers should know to move their villages once the plantation guys illegally strip the forest. Whats wrong with them, eh?

Whats wrong with YOU more pertinently??? Yeh, simple, just like that!! just uproot the whole village and move to ...........well, somewhere - where exactly do you suggest they go and who is going to provide them with the money to do this??? Wouldn't it just be fairer and easier to thwart the illegal acts of the greedy, unlicensed plantation owners (fine them heavily in the process) and stop them from carrying out this irresponsible trade that is making the land unstable by tearing up their trees (like they do in the illegal opium poppy fields in Afghanistan and Lebanon for example) where they spray the plants with defoliants or pull them from the ground.

If they HAVE obtained permission to grow palm or rubber tree's in areas that are not now deemed safe or suitable then compensate them and uproot their trees so as to return the land back to what it was before (how mother nature intended).

People like you really irk me when they adopt stupidly simplistic ideas that are unfeasible and blame those that have been wronged and not those that have wronged (both the illegal tree planters and those government officials that so misguidedly gave them permission to grow their trees where they shouldn't have been allowed to) for a nice little back hander, no doubt!!!

Another thing, who would you imagine out of the villagers and 'plantation guys' as you put it, were THERE FIRST!!! Do you think that the villagers encroached on the 'plantation guys' land and plantations????

Apparently i should have used a smiley as my point was completely and totally missed. It was an attempt at irony/sarcasm.

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Indeed, those lowland farmers should know to move their villages once the plantation guys illegally strip the forest. Whats wrong with them, eh?

Whats wrong with YOU more pertinently??? Yeh, simple, just like that!! just uproot the whole village and move to ...........well, somewhere - where exactly do you suggest they go and who is going to provide them with the money to do this??? Wouldn't it just be fairer and easier to thwart the illegal acts of the greedy, unlicensed plantation owners (fine them heavily in the process) and stop them from carrying out this irresponsible trade that is making the land unstable by tearing up their trees (like they do in the illegal opium poppy fields in Afghanistan and Lebanon for example) where they spray the plants with defoliants or pull them from the ground.

If they HAVE obtained permission to grow palm or rubber tree's in areas that are not now deemed safe or suitable then compensate them and uproot their trees so as to return the land back to what it was before (how mother nature intended).

People like you really irk me when they adopt stupidly simplistic ideas that are unfeasible and blame those that have been wronged and not those that have wronged (both the illegal tree planters and those government officials that so misguidedly gave them permission to grow their trees where they shouldn't have been allowed to) for a nice little back hander, no doubt!!!

Another thing, who would you imagine out of the villagers and 'plantation guys' as you put it, were THERE FIRST!!! Do you think that the villagers encroached on the 'plantation guys' land and plantations????

Apparently i should have used a smiley as my point was completely and totally missed. It was an attempt at irony/sarcasm.

OK - I can see this now!!! No offence meant by my retort as I can see that we are both actually singing from the same hymn sheet, but I was singing the wrong hymn!!!!

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Oh yes... the land some hi-sos and politicians have encroached upon.... This govt doing it's "I'll huff and I'll puff until you pay me off...." routine again. This will go as far as the bill asking for land limits did (or in this instance - did not)!!!

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Indeed, those lowland farmers should know to move their villages once the plantation guys illegally strip the forest. Whats wrong with them, eh?

Whats wrong with YOU more pertinently??? Yeh, simple, just like that!! just uproot the whole village and move to ...........well, somewhere - where exactly do you suggest they go and who is going to provide them with the money to do this??? Wouldn't it just be fairer and easier to thwart the illegal acts of the greedy, unlicensed plantation owners (fine them heavily in the process) and stop them from carrying out this irresponsible trade that is making the land unstable by tearing up their trees (like they do in the illegal opium poppy fields in Afghanistan and Lebanon for example) where they spray the plants with defoliants or pull them from the ground.

If they HAVE obtained permission to grow palm or rubber tree's in areas that are not now deemed safe or suitable then compensate them and uproot their trees so as to return the land back to what it was before (how mother nature intended).

People like you really irk me when they adopt stupidly simplistic ideas that are unfeasible and blame those that have been wronged and not those that have wronged (both the illegal tree planters and those government officials that so misguidedly gave them permission to grow their trees where they shouldn't have been allowed to) for a nice little back hander, no doubt!!!

Another thing, who would you imagine out of the villagers and 'plantation guys' as you put it, were THERE FIRST!!! Do you think that the villagers encroached on the 'plantation guys' land and plantations????

Apparently i should have used a smiley as my point was completely and totally missed. It was an attempt at irony/sarcasm.

My guess is SICHONSTEVE lives in Sichon and is quite pissed off with the major damage that Sichon and Tha Sala saw. So, maybe he deserves a little sensitivity. I don't see how your post can be construed as anything other than sarcasm, but someone did - so I suppose the smiley would have been a great idea ;)

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Indeed, those lowland farmers should know to move their villages once the plantation guys illegally strip the forest. Whats wrong with them, eh?

Whats wrong with YOU more pertinently??? Yeh, simple, just like that!! just uproot the whole village and move to ...........well, somewhere - where exactly do you suggest they go and who is going to provide them with the money to do this??? Wouldn't it just be fairer and easier to thwart the illegal acts of the greedy, unlicensed plantation owners (fine them heavily in the process) and stop them from carrying out this irresponsible trade that is making the land unstable by tearing up their trees (like they do in the illegal opium poppy fields in Afghanistan and Lebanon for example) where they spray the plants with defoliants or pull them from the ground.

If they HAVE obtained permission to grow palm or rubber tree's in areas that are not now deemed safe or suitable then compensate them and uproot their trees so as to return the land back to what it was before (how mother nature intended).

People like you really irk me when they adopt stupidly simplistic ideas that are unfeasible and blame those that have been wronged and not those that have wronged (both the illegal tree planters and those government officials that so misguidedly gave them permission to grow their trees where they shouldn't have been allowed to) for a nice little back hander, no doubt!!!

Another thing, who would you imagine out of the villagers and 'plantation guys' as you put it, were THERE FIRST!!! Do you think that the villagers encroached on the 'plantation guys' land and plantations????

Apparently i should have used a smiley as my point was completely and totally missed. It was an attempt at irony/sarcasm.

OK - I can see this now!!! No offence meant by my retort as I can see that we are both actually singing from the same hymn sheet, but I was singing the wrong hymn!!!!

Indeed we are, no worries, I totally understand your high feelings as I share them myself. Development without thought of consequences to innocent people is a major issue in Thailand.

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m'hmm. .... way to be "proactive" guys.

Sounds like another episode of "Crackdown Theater" in the making.... watch it only on SFN (Save Face Network). ....Sponsored by "Incompetence", the adult diapers, for when SHTF.

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Yes folks, I agree, a bit more sensitivity and less levity here please. Flooding will continue and the north (where I live) will be next come the (possible) heavy rains. As for illegally appropriated land, I think that the numbers given above for parawood plantations in Chiang Rai province speak volumes. Over 30 yrs. I've seen the destruction of woodlands and rain catchment areas up in the north here. What did I do??? Planted teak plantations and rubber plantations ON TITLED LAND!!! The bloody govt has made it dam_n near impossible - with all the red tape involved - for LEGAL plantation owners to get by. Has anyone had the displeasure of paying the sales tax for teak wood cut at a mere pittance of price (per cube)??? Where da eff' does the tax money go??? And still land rape continues as well as illegal timber EASILY brought into the country through Burmese and Laotian borders!!! :bah::blink::angry::(

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