Land reform needed to fight inequality


Often, land rights conflicts occur due to corruption.

Through collusion with corrupt land and forest officials, land speculators receive land title deeds to take over much public land, traditional burial grounds, and land with overlapping ownership.

Despite the corruption, the courts insist they must rely on official documents only.

This is the case with the latest violent clashes between a group of sea gypsies in Phuket and an investor who wants to build a hotel on the sea gypsies’ traditional¬†burial grounds.

The military must clarify why a group of soldiers were sent to back the investor’s land-clearance move.

The Land Bank and the Phuket sea gypsies are test cases for the government’s land reform and anti-corruption commitment.

If the Land Bank is axed, problematic land deeds not revoked and corrupt officials not punished, it will be difficult for more difficult reform goals to materialise.

Source: Bangkok Post. Date: February 1st, 2016