"Let me return home to die" : AI Thailand's Solidarity Action for Grandpa Kor-ee 

June 11, 2018


Amnesty International Thailand members encouraged Grandpa Kor-ee before hearing the verdict at Supreme Administrative Court on June 12, for the case in which KaengKrachan National Park officials burned down houses, barns, and destroyed the property of 6 people.

At AI Thailand’s Annual General Meeting 2018, more than 50 members wore Grandpa Kor-ee masks to showed support and encouragement for Grandpa Kor-ee.


Grandpa Kor-ee Mimi, a 106-year Karen, and the Bang-Klong-Bon Community, Kangkrachan District, Petchburi, are victims of "Tanaosri Operation" - a campaign intended to push back and arrest ethnic minority groups living on the Thai-Myanmar border in 2011, using repressive technics such as burning down properties and farmhouses. In the view of Thai Authorities, men and forest do not belong and people inhabiting in the forest are the rootcause of deforestation.


In 2012, Granpa Kor-ee and six community members receiving legal assistance from the Lawyer Association of Thailand sue the Department of National Park, Wildlife, and Forestation and Ministry of Natural Resouces and Environment, on their role to authorize the house burning operation. The Lawyer Association of Thailand sees the case as a severe violation of human rights while they help submitting the casefile to the Civil as well as the Administrative Court, calling for remedy and accountability from the ministry and its organs. 'Billy' or Polajee, a 30-year-old missing father of five and a community leader was an important witness in this case.


The Administrative Court, nonetheless, rules that the National Park officers were authorized under the National Park Act to conduct the push back campaign where they were subjected to compensate the affected community member only THB 10,000 (EUR 250) each. Granpa Kor-ee and the community members regard this ruling as inaccurate and incomplete - as it has not responded all queries from the community side, and yet requesting an appeal from the Supreme Administrative Court. The appeal was back up by their evidence on the community's historic foundation and the Cabinet Order on 2 August 2010, recognizing the Karen's settlements and their forest-friendly cultivation technic. The lawyer team also opposes the implementation of the National Park's push back policy, deemed as illegitimized.


On 12 June 2018, the Supreme Administrative Court will read the verdict. If the Court recognizes the rights to remain in their traditional community, Granpa Kor-ee and every Bang-Kloy-Bon community members will be able to return home - "the Motherland", once again.



Amnesty International Thailand invites our members and supporters, together wearing 'Kor-ee's masks. We will shoot group photos with solidarity messages for Grandpa Kor-ee, which will be re-tweet multiple times on 11-12 June, before the Court handed down the verdict at 10.00, 12 June 2018.


1905  Kor-ee was born and has been living in Bang-Kloy-Bon area ever since.

1981  KaengKrachan area, including Bang-Kloy-Bon area, was announced to be "KaengKrachan National Park"

1996  KaengKrachan National Park Officer ordered Karen villagers living in Bsng-Kloy-Bon area to move from their "home" to Ban-Pong-Luk-Bang-Kloy area. However, Grandpa Kor-ee cannot get used to foreign environment so he moved back to his "home" in the forest of Bang-Kloy-Bon in order to feel his motherland once again.

2011  KaengKrachan National Park Officer, led by Mr.Chaiwat Limlikitaksorn, evicted and burned the homes of Karen villagers in KaengKrachan National Park area. Moreover, the 106-year-old Grandpa Kor-ee had been brought to jail by a helicopter.

2012  Grandpa Kor-ee with 6 Karen villagers had prosecuted the case number ส.58/2555 in order to get compensated from the cruel eviction and burning by officers and to get back to their motherland where they have settled for more than 100 years.

2014  Mr. Porlagee Rakcharoen or Billy, leader and human rights defender of Ban-bang-kloy Karen, who is one of the witnesses of the case and also a grandchild of Grandpa Kor-ee has disappeared.

2016  Administrative court has adjudged that the Karen villagers have violated the section 16 (1), (2) and (3) of National Park Act by building their homes in KaengKrachan National Park area and the eviction and burning of Karen villagers' home is a suitable method to remove the buildings but Grandpa Kor-ee and Karen villagers sill want to appeal.

2018  The supreme court has sentenced the defendant to compensate each plaintiff 10,000 Baht within 30 days and the officers' eviction and burning of Karen villagers' homes and properties is a suitable method according to section 22 of National Park Act 1961.


• Grandpa Kor-ee had born and raised in KaengKrachan National Park since 1905. However, his lifestyle is not connected with central authorities so he does not have any official paper to prove his residence in the area before it was announced a "National Park"

• Government officers often think that "People and Forest cannot coexist"

• National park officers have expelled Grandpa Kor-ee and Karen villagers without any official letters.

• The eviction and burning action of the officers is not a respectful method for Karen villagers.