Forestry chief appeals over transfer order

national October 07, 2017 01:00

By The Nation

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OUTGOING FORESTRY Department Chief Chonlatid Suraswadi yesterday submitted a letter to Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam, asking for justice regarding his sudden transfer to the Permanent Secretary Office of the PM’s Office as a special adviser.

He says his transfer may be a result of his intensive suppression against major investors encroaching upon forest reserves.

Chonlatid cited checks he had made on records with anti-corruption agencies, including the National Anti-Corruption Centre, but found no records that a panel had been set up against him.

He insisted on his innocence, saying he had never had any record of corruption-related acts during his 30 years in the civil service. He said he was seeking justice in this fresh transfer. 

Chonlatid said the accusation may have stemmed from his suppression work against major investors, and erroneous information might have been spread against him and caused a misunderstanding of his actions. Among the cases is a new airport construction plan in Phangnga province, which allegedly encroaches on the forest reserve. Chonlatid said some people had accused him of asking for a bribe but he has cleared himself with the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry, after explaining the issue.

Chonlatid said he had accepted the order and taken up a new job on national reform and strategy. Some civil organisations, including Mae Jam residents that Chonlatid has been working with to turn deforested mountain areas to forest land, want his transfer stopped.

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