More on the military and primitive accumulation

16 05 2015

A while ago we had several posts on the military dictatorship and primitive accumulation. We used this terminology in describing the actions of the state and military under the dictatorship as it clears out oppositions that seek to protect land and resources from those who control wealth in Thailand (here, here, here and here).

This process of clearing villagers and communities from land wanted for commercial purposes also includes military land grabs.

Prachatai reports that the military has used the draconian Article 44 of the junta’s Interim Constitution “to arrest villagers in eastern Thailand who refused to leave an area which the Thai Navy wants to use as a practice ground.”

The Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) has reported that “about 100 military officers from the Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) of eastern Chanthaburi Province on Friday at around 6 am stormed into Ban Khlong Chan village in Khao Khitchakut District of the province.” They arrested several villagers, smashed their way into houses and dragged off villagers.

All of this savagery results from the military accusing “villagers of encroaching and occupying plots of land inside Khao Khitchakut National Park, which the Royal Thai Navy has leased from the state for combat operation practice.”

Unfortunately, the removal of villagers from their land and the destruction of communities by the military has a very long history. What is jaw dropping in this case is not just the use of a draconian “law” but that the military is permitted to use a national park for its own purposes, trampling villagers along the way to the accumulation of property.

When the military grabs property in this way, it is often converted into private land and sold, to the profit of corrupt military leaders.


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