Jiew Kang Jue Pattana oil palm company, Thailand

Systematic pattern of targeting human rights defenders for their work in fighting against palm oil companies in Surat Thani province.


Description
A palm oil company  has illegally occupied the community’s lands for the past 30 years after the expiry of their lease. In 2007, the Agricultural Land Reform Office (ALRO) filed a civil law suit against the Jiew Kang Jue Pattana Co. Ltd company on behalf of the community to evict the company from the land. The Supreme Court upheld the civil law suit and ruled against the company in November 2014 [2].  Still, the ALRO has failed to execute the court order and to expel the private company from the land. No land was redistributed among the peasants. Instead, they issued an order on 6 July 2015 to forcibly push the private company and their workers as well as villagers from the Klong Sai Pattana Community from the land claiming the villagers were employees of the company. But according to the verdict of the Court, dependents do not include villagers in Klong Sai Pattana Community who had been living there as farmers and were in dire need of land. The villagers said that they "had no intent to commercialize it". The land was redistributed based on collective land title deed regime, not based on conventional individual ownership [3].  A former National Human Rights Commissioner said that successive governments have failed to solve land management issues. The ALRO should have as its main aim to redistribute the land for the most destitute. Since the conflict escalated, Jiew Kang Jue Pattana Co. Ltd. has filed several suits against Southern Peasant’s Federation of Thailand (SPFT) members. This Peasant's Federarion was campaigning for community land tenure in an ongoing dispute with a company. The company argues that its campaigns are affecting the company's business interests.  According to the International Protection, in the struggle, more than ten human rights defenders, were murdered. From 2010 to 2015 there were four registered activists murders. They were members of SPFT Federation and from the Kholong Sai Pattana community in Surat province:  In 2010, Somporn Pattanaphum, a land rights activist was killed in 2010. In 2012 Montha Chukaew and Pranee Boonrat women activists were killed on 11 February 2015, Chai Bunthonglek  (61 year old) was shot and killed by two unidentified assailants. All of them were members of the Southern Peasant’s Federation of Thailand (SPFT) from the Khlong Sai Pattana community in Surat Thani. Chai is the fourth human rights defender working on land rights in southern Thailand to be killed in 2014. According to the International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) there is a  clear systematic pattern of "targeting human rights defenders for their work in holding businesses accountable in Thailand". "This series of such killings in southern Thailand which are carried out in order to intimidate those seeking to protect their right to land and expose illegal activities of private enterprises”, said Michael Ineichen from ISHR [1].
Basic Data
NameJiew Kang Jue Pattana oil palm company, Thailand
CountryThailand
ProvinceSurat Thani
SiteKhlong Sai Pattana community
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture and Livestock Management)
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Land acquisition conflicts
Plantation conflicts (incl. Pulp
Specific CommoditiesPalm oil
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsIn 2008. 146,441 hectares were covered by oil palm in Sarat Thani province (OAE 2008: 27), 20.2 yield per hectare [4].
Project Area (in hectares)216,500
Type of PopulationRural
Company Names or State EnterprisesJiew Kang Jue Pattana Co. Ltd. from Thailand
Relevant government actorsAgricultural Land Reform Office (ALRO)

The Royal Thai government

Land Bank Administration Institute
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersSouthern Peasant’s Federation of Thailand (SPFT)

People’s Movement for Just Society (P-Move)

Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), Amnesty International (AI)

Northeast Land Reform Network,

the Northern Peasant Federation,

the Assembly of the Poor,

Human Rights Lawyers Association (HRLA),

the People’s Movement for a Just Society (P-Move),

the Pa Sang Agricultural Cooperative for Community Land Title Deed,

the Network for Social and Political Reform,

the Network for Natural Resource and the Environment Management in Andaman,

the Khao Lao Yai-Pha Jandai Conservation Group,

Southern Peasant Federation Cooperative

Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders

Protection International (PI)
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Social movements
Women
Khlong Sai Pattana community
Forms of MobilizationLawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Potential: Soil contamination, Soil erosion
Health ImpactsVisible: Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..)
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Specific impacts on women, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession
Outcome
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCriminalization of activists
Deaths
Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
Violent targeting of activists
Somporn Pattanaphum, a land rights activist was killed in 2010; In 2012 Montha Chukaew and Pranee Boonrat women activists were killed On 11 February 2015, Chai Bunthonglek (61 year old), a member of the Southern Peasant’s Federation of Thailand (SPFT)
Development of AlternativesA community land title deed with representatives of different networks and organizations.
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.Still, the ALRO has failed to execute the court order and to expel the private company from the land. No land was redistributed among the peasants. The violence has increased against the activist in opposition.
Sources and Materials
Legislations

The Land Readjustment Act of 2004: governs processes for land re-plotting and development in order to improve land utilisation.

The Agricultural Land Reform Act of 1975: aims to address the high rate
of tenancy in certain regions of the country, the large number of landless
households, and the encroachment of public lands for cultivation

The Land Development Act of 1983: established a national Land Development Committee to improve the use and productivity of the country‘s agricultural
land.

References

[1] Thailand: Ensure independent, impartial investigation into murder of land rights activists
[click to view]

Effects of oil palm expansion through direct and indirect land use change in Tapi river basin, Thailand, 2016
[click to view]

[4] Oil palm expansion in South East Asia
[click to view]

Links

NYT: Murdered afer defending Thailand's environment
[click to view]

[2] Southern land rights activist shot dead
[click to view]

Thailand: Joint Statement: End Impunity and Ensure Justice for Community under Attack
[click to view]

[3] SURAT THANI PEASANTS COMMEMORATE DEFENDERS WHO DIED TO DEFEND LAND RIGHTS. A STATEMENT BY THE SOUTHERN PEASANT FEDERATION OF THAILAND.
[click to view]

Other Documents

Source:Luke Duggleby/Redux, http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2016/05/22/blogs/murdered-after-defending-thailands-environment/s/22thailandmydans-slide-V7GD.html Montha Chukaew, 54, and Pranee Boonrat, 50, activists, were shot and killed on Nov. 19, 2012.
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorSM (ICTA-UAB) and Carros de Combate
Last update06/02/2017
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