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BP: Army wants Plodprasop's
May 2, 1998
Chettha seeks talks with forestry chief
Army chief Gen Chettha Thanajaro hopes to receive full
cooperation from the Forestry Department in helping the military
suppress and arrest illegal loggers.
Gen Chettha said he would invite Plodprasop Suraswadi, the
department director-general, to a meeting this week to discuss
the army's role in forestry supervision.
Illegal loggers are reportedly most active in the timber-rich
forests near the Thai-Burmese border. They fell trees in
Thailand, export them to Burma across the border to falsify their
origin, and import them for sale in the country as Burmese wood.
The army is aware of the illegal operations but cannot arrest the
loggers since by law they are not the forestry suppression
Gen Chettha has suggested that a ministry regulation be issued to
enable the agriculture minister to arm the army with full
The planned meeting with Mr Plodprasop would look into the
regulatory requirements and determine if changes were possible
to support the allocation of power.
Gen Chettha is confident the talks would yield constructive
agreements and give the army a better idea on how far it could
go in safeguarding the country's forests.
"Although it is not the army's primary duty, it indirectly stands to
cause uncalculated damage to all of us if we allow the problem to
"Half an hour is all we need. That's how fast we expect to end
the talks on a successful note since both sides share a common
vision on the issue," Gen Chettha said.
The army and the Forestry Department must put their heads
together to figure out how they can cooperate on the forest
The department is in need of assistance from the army which has
the equipment and the manpower to carry out the job, said Gen
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Last Modified: Mon, May 4, 1998