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» Last July the mysterious crashes of three military helicopters in the space of a couple of weeks riveted the country's focus on Kaeng Krachan National Park, the nation's largest in Phetchaburi province. Much less attention was given to another dramatic series of events around the same time affecting ethnic Karen-Thai inside the park. These culminated in raids by park officials in which a total of 90 of their homes and rice barns were burned down. The ethnic Karen and their advocates say the National Parks, Wildlife and Plants Conservation Department is conducting a campaign to drive them out of the park.
» Those whose homes and farms were ravaged by last year's floods are fuming over government compensation plans that they say unfairly favour big business at their expense. About 2.23 billion baht will go to build a 77km floodwall around Rojana Industrial Park and 728 million baht and 700 million baht, respectively, has been earmarked to build floodwalls around Bang Pa-in and Nava Nakorn industrial estates. Many of society's most vulnerable who lost nearly everything in the floods _ including labourers, small farmers, slum dwellers and home-based workers _ are entitled to a mere 5,000 baht in compensation.
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