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Villagers undaunted by Surayud ruling

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NAKHON RATCHASIMA : Villagers who occupy land on Khao Yai Thiang are undaunted by a prosecution ruling against privy councillor Surayud Chulanont’s right to hold a 22-rai property there.

The Surayud land-holding scandal has triggered speculation that the state will evict villagers occupying the forest reserve.

Several plots of land on Khao Yai Thiang, which were allocated to landless farmers decades ago, have now changed hands illegally. Some have been turned into resorts and holiday homes.

Ownership of Khao Yai Thiang land can only be transferred to the legal heirs of the original owners.

Some farmers sold their land regardless. Among those plots which changed hands is the 22-rai plot now held by Gen Surayud.

One villager, who asked not to be named, said the Surayud land controversy was unlikely to affect those who have sold their plots.

Most properties remained registered under the names of the eligible owners even though ownership has changed.

“And many of the original owners still live on the land, but not as owners. The buyers keep them on the properties as guardians or workers,” said the villager.

Bangkok Post


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