The Doi Suthep Forest Reclamation Network will stage a major protest in Chiang Mai late in August to pressure the Court of Appeals Region 5 to cede the mountainside forestland on which its controversial housing project situates.
Network coordinator Teerasak Rupsuwan said on Tuesday that members of the Community Organisations Development Institute from the eight provinces of the upper North would join the protest.
He said the network would first host several smaller-scale activities to raise public awareness about the issue.
Green ribbons will be strung around urban Chiang Mai and on “red car” taxi pickups to express opposition to the housing estate.
Around mid-August, a traditional northern cursing ritual will be held to put a hex on the land used for the housing estate, which has been dubbed “the scar of Doi Suthep”. Once cursed, the property would be unsuitable for human habitation, Teerasak said.
The network will ask that a “citizens’ council session” be convened where residents can share their opinions and vote on proposed solutions.
One such proposal, mooted by a sub-committee in a report for Prime Minister’s Office Minister Suwaphan Tanyuvardhana, suggested the immediate demolition of 45 houses built in “inappropriate locations”.
Another nine units could be demolished or “adjusted as appropriate” but should not be used as residences, the panel suggested.