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Kaeng Krachan welcomes Karen group

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Karen tribespeople are used to being evicted from Kaeng Krachan National Park, but not welcomed. Now one group of Karen who lost their land in 1996 is getting a second chance. 

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Somewhere down there in the mountainous Kaeng Krachan National Park there is room for a group of Karen tribespeople evicted almost 20 years ago, thanks to the Pid Thong Lang Phra royal project. THITI WANNAMONTHA

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Kaeng Krachan welcomes Karen group

For ethnic Karen tribespeople living in or near Kaeng Krachan National Park in Phetchaburi province near the Myanmar border, relations with the Thai government haven't always been smooth.

In 1996, many were evicted from the park for staying there illegally. As recently as July, 2011, Karen forest dwellers saw their homes torched by forestry officials who accused them of illegally entering the park from Myanmar.

Thus, this weekend it seemed quite strange to see about 100 Karen households actually being welcomed into the park. They are being allowed to access land plots for cultivation under the support of the Pid Thong Lang Phra royal project.

After a brief ceremony, they went right to work ploughing land for rice terraces in a 300-rai area. Bangkok Post photographer Thiti Wannamontha was there and took these photos.

For these Karen, the Pid Thong Lang Phra project represents a new start.

Karen villagers ready their 300-rai plot for rice cultivation.

You are never too young to lend a helping hand.

ethnic – of a group of people with the same culture or traditions กลุ่มชาติพันธุ์
tribe – a group of people of the same race, and with the same customs, language, religion, etc, living in a particular area and often led by a chief เผ่า, เผ่าพันธุ์
border – the official line separating two areas, regions or countries  เขตแดน อาณาเขต
relations – the way in which two people, groups or countries behave towards each other or deal with each other ความสัมพันธ์
smooth – happening or continuing without any problems โดยไม่มีปัญหา, มีประสิทธิภาพ
evict – to force someone to leave a building or place where they have been living or working ขับไล่ออกจากพื้นที่   ไล่ที่
illegally – in a way that is against the law อย่างผิดกฎหมาย
dweller – a person or an animal that lives in the particular place that is mentioned  ผู้อยู่อาศัย, ผู้อาศัย
torch – to deliberately set on fire วางเพลิง
accuse – to say that someone has done something wrong or committed a crime กล่าวหา
strange – unusual or surprising, especially in a way that is difficult to understand  แปลก
household – a group of people, often a family, who live together  ครัวเรือน
access – having the opportunity to have or use something มีโอกาสในการใช้
plot – a piece of land used for a particular purpose ที่ดินแปลงเล็ก
cultivation – the preparation and use of land for growing plants or crops การเตรียมดินสำหรับเพาะปลูก
brief – lasting for only a short time ระยะเวลาสั้นๆ
ceremony – a formal public event งานพิธี
plough – to dig and turn over a field or other area of land with a  large piece of farming equipment called a plough ไถ
terrace – one of a series of flat areas of ground that are cut into the side of a hill like steps so that crops can be grown there เนินที่ลาดเอียง, ที่ราบเป็นขั้นลดหลั่น
lend a helping hand – to help someone

Related search: Karen, Kaeng Krachan National Park, Pid Thong Lang Phra royal project

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