Luang Pu accused of illegal land deal

CHIANG MAI – United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) supporters in Chiang Mai have accused core anti-government protest leader Luang Pu Buddha Issara of building luxury housing on public land.

Around 300 red-shirt supporters gathered on Monday morning to discuss the People’s Democratic Reform Committee protest monk's alleged land purchases.  

Pichit Tamul, a UDD leader from Chiang Mai, said a man who identified himself as Buddha Issara had purchased several land plots from local villagers without title deeds or land ownership documents. 

He said permanent buildings had been erected on those plots, but argued that the land is in fact public property.

Mr Pichit said Buddha Issara had claimed that he would build a temple on the plots, but said villagers believed that the large building in tambon Mae Win, Mae Wang district was actually a luxury housing unit.

He said villagers were unhappy about the situation and some had already reported the matter to the police. 

Supon Fumuljaroen, an old classmate of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and vice-chairman of the UDD in Chiang Mai, said villagers in tambon Mae Win were unhappy that Buddha Issara purchased the mountain land in his own name.

Villagers will keep an eye on the property to see whether Luang Pu Buddha Issara visits. If he does they will alert the police to arrest him given that he is wanted for blocking the advance general election, Mr Supon said.

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