Thai villagers seek answers to disappearance of land rights activist
Den Khamlae is a land rights defender from the Khok Yao community, Kon San district, Chaiyaphum province. The community is currently facing forced eviction from the land which they have occupied for forty-five years. Since 2015 Den Khamlae has been leading the network of local villagers who have been trying to re-establish their right over this land. The human rights defender is also a member of Essan Land Reform Network (ELRN), a union of local villagers opposing the Kon San Forest Project. The latter was established by the state-owned Forest Industry Organisation in 1978 and until now has caused significant destruction in part of the Laohai forest area resulting in the eviction of more than one-thousand people from local villages.