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Bkk Post-Keep an eye on the loggers
- Subject: Bkk Post-Keep an eye on the loggers
- From: tinkyi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Thu, 17 Jun 1999 20:46:00
Bangkok Post - June 17, 1999.
Keep an eye on the loggers
Logging companies have called on the government to open border passes near
the Salween forest in Mae Hong Son so they can move logs from Burma to
Thailand. The logs, they claim, were cut under concession agreements with
As expected, the call was criticised widely by the military and government
officials, who insist the petition must be considered very carefully.
The director-general of the Forestry Department said the amount of logs to
be imported must be verified by Burma first. If the border passes are
opened, he said it would only be temporarily.
Since the matter was run on newspaper front pages, no one has specified the
exact amount of timber left inside Burma by Thai companies. There has been
no confirmation by the Burmese government.
In an interview with the press three days ago, the governor of Mae Hong Son
said 255 freshly cut logs had been found near the office of the Salween
National Park. He said the logs were cut only four or five days previously.
Forestry officials later said nearly 10,000 teak trees might have been cut
by poachers and left in the Salween forest since March.
These statements indicate that logging companies have something up their
sleeves. The petition for the opening of the border might be just a ruse.
They could simply haul the logs from the Salween forest and declare that
they are Burmese logs. This tactic had been employed before by unscrupulous
The governor of Mae Hong Son and the Forestry Department director-general
deserve high praise for their efforts to save the Salween forest from the
chain-saws of logging companies and poachers.
But can we be sure their concern is shared by the government and military
leaders? People in the know are worried that the governor might be
Editorial from Naew Na