Forest folk living in fear | Bangkok Post: opinion

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Forest folk living in fear

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The disappearance of ethnic Karen grassroots activist Porlajee Rakchongcharoen has put the spotlight on not only the lack of safety for human rights defenders but also the use of violence in forest management which violates both the constitution and human rights. 

The 30-year-old unsung hero, Porlajee, aka Billy, represents a group of indigenous Karen forest dwellers in their fight to live on their ancestral land which has now become part of Kaeng Krachan National Park in Phetchaburi province.

The constitution allows traditional communities the right to preserve their way of life and co-manage their natural resources. For forest settlements, traditional communities are interpreted as those that existed before the areas were officially designated as national parks.

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