Will community deeds prevent rich landlords getting their hands on land as they did in the 1984 Sor Por Kor scandal?
Land reform in Thailand has had a chequered history.
The so-called Sor Por Kor 4-01 land reform scandal toppled the Democrat-led government back in 1984 after the public learned that land had gone to rich landlords (Read article).
This time around precautions are being taken that the community as a whole will benefit from the land and are involved in the upkeep of the land.
Also read previous Bangkok Post articles about land reform #1 (09-07-2010), #2 (10-05-2010) #3 (20-01-2009) and #4 (17-06-2008).
Photo below of ceremony handing Sor Por Kor land document to poor farmer.
Click button to listen to Community Deeds and rightclick to download
LAND REFORM: First community deeds in October by Darana Chudasri
The first two community title deeds should be approved next month, says PM's Office Minister Sathit Wongnongtoey.
He said 89 requests for community deeds had been filed to date, with 49 surveys completed by a screening committee overseeing the programme, covering some 10,000 rai nationwide.
Three of the community deed requests are for areas in Bangkok.
Mr Sathit said the committee would give priority to strong communities demonstrating a good land use plan. The two communities set for review are located in Nakhon Pathom and Uttaradit provinces
The community deed programme essentially offers land use documents to entire communities as part of the government's broader strategy to help reduce income disparity within society.
But implementation and execution of the concept will not be easy, warned Eathipol Srisawaluck, an associate professor at Chulalongkorn University's law faculty and a member of the screening committee.
It's not as if individuals or each community will receive a deed. Those that are approved must be able to show strong internal controls for the community," he told a conference on land reform yesterday.
And it's not as if people are getting something for free. The community must meet certain commitments as well, be it caring for natural resources and the environment or meeting conditions set out by law.
Mr Eathipol said that worldwide, land typically fell into one of three categories - privately held; community or municipal; and public. However, Thai law recognises only two types - private and public.
The community deed programme is also aimed at addressing the long-standing problem of encroachment by communities on public land with no proper right or authorisation to do so
Actually, the use of the words 'community deeds' rather than 'community rights' is probably not correct," said Assoc Prof Eathipol.
Under the programme, communities must establish a juristic person to hold the community deed and manage land use rights that will continue to be held and granted by the government. If a community fails to meet its legal obligations, the juristic person will be scrapped and the deed returned to the government.
Studies show up to 450,000 people live on 6.4 million rai of national forest land, with another 185,916 people residing on 2.24 million rai of national park land. Encroachment on public and state lands adds another 3.6 million rai...
(Source: LAND REFORM, First community deeds in October, 28/09/2010, Darana Chudasri, link)
land reform - a government program to take the ownership of land from large land owners (the rich, the government) and give it (redistribute) to poor small farmers (See Wikipedia)
scandal - shocking and immoral behaviour เรื่องอื้อฉาว
toppled - cause a government to lose power and end
chequered history - has experienced both success and failure
community - local people, all the people who live in a local area or place ชุมชน
precaution - some action taken to prevent people from hard or trouble การระมัดระวัง,การป้องกันไว้ก่อน
upkeep - the process of keeping a building or piece of land in good condition, maintenance การบำรุงรักษา
landlord - a person who owns buildings or land that other people rent
title - the legal right to own land or property (real estate) and also the document that shows and proves ownership
deed - a written agreement signed in a formal way, usually for the sale of real estate or a house
community deeds - when a whole community owns real estate or propery (instead of an individual person, company or the government)
file - to take official action, provide official document to authorities ยื่นฟ้องร้อง
screening - checking for problems before accepting
overseeing - managing, checking to see that it operates properly and nothing goes wrong
nationwide - throughout a whole country ทั่วทั้งประเทศ
priority - the most important thing they have to do สี่งที่สำคัญเป็นลำดับแรก
land use planing - government policy to control the way that land is used for the health and well-being of people who live in a community (See Wikipedia)
review - looking closely at some situation or policy to determine whether it is acceptable or not
essentially - for the most part ที่สำคัญที่สุด
strategy - a plan to achieve a goal over a longer period of time (longer than a "tactic")
strategy - a plan to achieve long term goals ('strategy' gives the big picture, 'tactics' the details)
broader strategy - general strategy, dealing with a very large issue or subject (not with the details)
income - money that people receive from work or some other source, used for household consumption and savings
disparity - a big difference between two things
income disparity - a big difference between the poor and the rich in a society
implementation - making a plan into reality, actually do or carry out a plan, the process of making something such as a plan, system, idea or law start to work and be used
execution - doing a project เริ่มดำเนินโครงการ
concept - a principle or idea ความคิด
associate professor - a tenured level of work (rank) in a university, higher than an associate professor which is not tenured (See Wikipedia and another nice explanation)
tenure - academic tenure, job security or protection for some levels of professor, "life tenure in a job and specifically to a senior academic's contractual right not to have his or her position terminated without just cause" (See Wikipedia)
faculty - a group of departments in a college which specialize in a particular subject or group of subjects คณะ
individuals - persons บุคคล
internal - existing or happening inside a person, object, organisation, place or country ภายใน
internal controls - restrictions, limits or policies that help a company control activities inside the company in order to reach their goals (See Wikipedia)
reform - changes and improvements in the way government or an organization operates การแก้ไข การปฏิรูป
land reform - giving poor people farmers land to farm (in many societies poor farmers lose their land and then have to work for low wages on large plantations)
commitments - promises, things you must do because you promised people you would do them
natural - found in nature (not made in a factory by humans) ตามธรรมชาติ
natural resources - things such as coal, trees and oil that exist in nature and can be used by people ทรัพยากร
environment - the natural world of land, sea, plants, and animals
meeting conditions set out by law - doing exactly what the law tells you to do
typically - usually; normally อย่างเป็นแบบฉบับ
category - a kind or type of thing or person, a group of things that are all of the same kind หมวด, ประเภท
fall into a category - be included in a group of things of the same kind
privately held - owned by a person (land is an asset that is part of the person's wealth)
municipal - owned by the local government of a city or town
public - owned by the government
municipal - of a town, city or district with its own local government เทศบาล
long - to want something very much ต้องการ ปรารถนา
encroachment - using land that is not your land การบุกรุก
address a problem - try to solve a problem
long-standing - has existed for a long period of time
proper - actual or real จริง (พระราชพิธีพระราชทานเพลิงพระศพจริง)
rights - what the law allows you to have and do สิทธิ์ (See Wikipedia)
authorisation - official permission to do something or have something that is given by the government or other authority
establish - to start a company or organization that will likely continue for a long time สถาปนา, ก่อตั้ง, จัดตั้ง
juristic person - an organization or group of people that has the same "rights, duties, and the ability to carry out legal acts as if it were a natural person" (See Source and Wikipedia)
granted - officially given ให ้
obligations - things you must do; duties หน้าที่ที่พึงกระทำ ข้อบังคับ
legal obligations - things that you must do to follow the law
scrapped - ended, cancelled, decided not to continue with something, such as a plan or event ยุติแผนที่วางไว้
national - a citizen of a particular country ประชาชน
national forest land - forest land owned and controlled by the government
residing - living in a place
state - government รัฐ