Phimai residents oppose Fine Arts Dept move to declare 'historic site'
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Phimai residents oppose Fine Arts Dept move to declare 'historic site'

The Phimai historic park is seen from the municipality in Phimai district in Nakhon Ratchasima. (Photos by Prasit Tangprasert)
The Phimai historic park is seen from the municipality in Phimai district in Nakhon Ratchasima. (Photos by Prasit Tangprasert)

NAKHON RATCHASIMA: Residents in Tambon Phimai Municipality of Phimai district have raised an objection to the Fine Arts Department's move to declare a 2,658-rai area a historic site, saying that they have lived in the area for generations, and have proper legal documents to prove their right to occupy the land.

About 400 residents gathered at the municipality office on Sunday morning to register their opposition after a total of 1,665 people received a letter from Kachorn Mukmeekha, deputy director-general of the Fine Arts Department, informing them that the department was planning to declare the area a historic site.

The letter said an area covering 2,658 rai and 25 square wah in Phimai district would be designated as a 'historic area' under Section 7 of the 1961 law on historic sites, art objects and museums. The residents were told to file a petition with the Administrative Court within 30 days of receiving the notification if they objected to the department's move.

According to the letter, now that the 30-day period had expired without any objections be filed, the department would proceed to declare the area a historic site in the Royal Gazette.

It was not clear why no objections had been filed within the 30-day period.

Danai Tangjerdja, the mayor of Tambon Phimai Municipality, said the department's letter had upset many local residents as more than 2,600 households would be affected. He said the residents claimed they had been living in the area for generations with proper legal documents to show their right to occupy the land.

Mr Danai said the residents were seeking dialogue with local officials before they submit a petition to the national government and the administrative court.

Residents in the Phimai muncipality vote on Sunday against a Fine Arts Department plan to designate the area a historic site.

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