Northern Peasant Federation submits open letter to PM, petitions govt assistance

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CHIANG MAI, 23 June 2015, The Northern Peasant Federation (NPF) yesterday submitted an open letter to Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha asking for government assistance in forest conservation.

The NPF urged officials to quickly address forest area encroachment, pushing for public participation in related draft legislation.

The letter specifically calls for the current administration to reexamine the controversial Cabinet resolution made on June 30, 1998. The resolution states that villagers living in forest areas before they were declared public property have the right to use the land. The 1998 resolution resulted in various ownership disputes. Many have contacted the authorities to take advantage of the resolution, since it came into force.

The letter also asks the Prime Minister to revoke the draft bill on Community Forest, saying it violates community rights under the constitution.

The final point the letter makes is a push for the implementation of the Community Land and Natural Resources Management Rights bill and the draft bill on land banks.