On 8th July 2014 at Sirinat National Park in Thalang, Phuket, Khun Maitree Intusut – Phuket Governor, Khun Nipon Chotibarn – Director General of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife, Khun Samak Donnapi – Director of the National Parks Bureau, Capt Petcharat Teanjan – Deputy Director of the Civil Affairs Division at the Third Naval Area Command joined a press conference to announce further moves to reclaim land in the Sirinat National Park (Nai Yang) which is believed to have been lost to land encroachers. The move comes after previous action from the DSI was seen as slow moving with no real progress made in their investigations. It is also understood that a number of government officials are somehow involved with these issues of land encroachment.
At the conference Khun Nipon said “From the 8th – 10th July, the Department of National Parks will open a special centre which will verify land entitlement documents free of charge. If anybody has land title deeds they want looked at please come and see us, and please do not try to buy any land within the park without contacting us first.
“If we find that land has been encroached within Sirinat National Park, and that land has been built on, we will knock the developments down. Too much land in Phuket has been invaded illegally; businesses have even been set up on public land. In total you can say a total of 500 rai has been lost and it’s time to reclaim it.
“It is now the responsibility of the Department of National Park to investigate the land title deeds issued to hotels in the Sirinat National Park to those held at the Phuket Land Office, and if found to be illegal I will get them cancelled. The land within the park cannot be bought and sold, and we will gather all the evidence we need to make sure we can return the land to the nation.”