MNRE plans to defend park chief

MNRE plans to defend park chief

Chaiwat: Glad for grace period
Chaiwat: Glad for grace period

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE) plans to appeal a court decision to remove the former chief of Kaeng Krachan National Park from his post due to the forceful removal of Karen villagers a decade ago.

Chaiwat Limlikhit-aksorn was discharged from his position on April 2, 2021.

But MNRE permanent secretary Jatuporn Buruspat said the Phetchaburi Provincial Court gave Mr Chaiwat a stay of execution on July 27.

Mr Jatuporn said he would present the court's judgement to the civil service sub-committee in order to launch an appeal within 30 days.

"Nevertheless, the MNRE will remain subject to the Supreme Court's judgement," he added.

Mr Chaiwat said he was glad to have been granted the grace period. The court also ruled that his offence was related to an alleged dispute against the Karen villagers in the park, rather than being a case of corruption.

The Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) had recommended the MNRE dismiss Mr Chaiwat and five other park officials due to the burning of about 100 Karen residential homes there in 2011.

However, the court said the PACC had not assigned any committee to investigate the matter before issuing the dismissal notice to Mr Chaiwat. The PACC's recommendation may have been unlawful. Mr Chaiwat's salary and civil servant welfare benefits were also suspended.

The discharge notice was issued by the civil service sub-committee of the MNRE, forwarded by the PACC which claimed he was guilty of malfeasance of duty.

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