Park Ranger Shot at as Illegal Resorts Demolished

Illegal Resorts Torn Down

A park ranger was shot at after he and his colleagues demolished a group of illegal resorts in Mae Rim National Park, Chiang Mai province.

Boonsong Chuechang was driving home on Sunday from Mae Rim National Park in Mae Rim district, where more than 100 park officials had demolished 30 unpermitted buildings when one of his car windows was shattered by a bullet.

Royal Forest Department (RFD) director-general Atthaphon Charoenchansa said it turned out the bullet had come from an air gun and the only damage was to the windowpane but the RFD had still lodged an official complaint with the police.

Park officials were carrying out a demolition order issued by Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa to clear scores of resort buildings that had stood illegally in the national park for several years.

The demolition met with only slight resistance as local villagers protested on-site but retreated as soon as park officials turned up.

During the weekend, officials demolished buildings at 30 resorts: Phu Chuan Long, Ban Ta Jun, Mon San, Mon Sangrawee, Mon Sakura, Saengnua Camping, Langsuan Homestay, Phu Boek fa, Mon Daoruang, Mon Phasuk, Mon Ing Dao, Baan Phu Mork, Mon Nuea Homestay 1 and Mon Nuea Homestay 2, Mon Doo Dao, Baan Monjor, Saeng Arun Camp, Mon View Ngarm, Best Land, Mon Idin, Rai Nai, Mondoiloifa, Monjai, Rabiang Roidao Camping, Mon Muan, Mon Mai Mee Chue, Mon Sansiri Jantra, Mon Porpiang, Maya Camping and Camp Si Ew.

They were among 113 illegally built resort buildings Mae Rim National Park.

It was only after the owners failed in their appeals that officials began to tear the buildings down. Sunday marked the first 30 demolitions and those particular buildings were picked because they had broken several laws.

The RFD said the owners had encroached on public forest land, built resorts and then reportedly sold them to foreigners.