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 . 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 . 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 .