PM Prayut calls on fire starters to be arrested

Thai Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-ocha has stepped up his interest in northern fires first expressed last week and is now calling on those starting fires to be arrested.

A spokesperson for the PM said yesterday that he remains concerned for the northern smog situation and that he was ordering all provinces to mobilize their forces to control and put out the fires.

The spokesperson added that the PM wants to see strict enforcement of the fire ban including the arrest and prosecution of people who start fires.

Once again deferring some of the blame to neighboring countries, the PM said that the Pollution Control Department is coordinating with the ASEAN Secretariat in accordance with the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution by submitting a situation report form on a daily basis “so that every country is aware of the problem and can take concrete measures.”

While it is true that neighboring countries also have a burning problem – particularly Myanmar, the fires adding to record levels of smog are in national parks and protected forest areas in the north inside Thailand’s own borders.

Prayut’s latest call follows Deputy PM Prawit calling on people to stop starting fires in the north last week.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons