Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Thai elephant ride biz fights eviction



Thai elephant ride biz fights eviction

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Ayutthaya Elephant Palace and Royal Kraal is fighting an order for it to leave the Ayutthaya Historical Park in Thailand where it has been based for more than two decades. SUPPLIED/THE NATION

Thai elephant ride biz fights eviction

An elephant rides business is fighting an order for it to leave the Ayutthaya Historical Park where it has been based for more than two decades.

“We will petition the Central Administrative Court next week,” Ittiphan Khaolamai said on Thursday in his capacity as the manager of the Ayutthaya Elephant Palace and Royal Kraal.

“We can’t accept the order requiring us to vacate our current location within 30 days. It’s not fair. What wrong have we done?”

With about 200 staff and 70 elephants, the business has had a long presence at the park in Ayutthaya province. It offers various tour activities, including elephant rides through the park.

“We are a nationally recognised attraction. How can you simply tell us to go?” Ittiphan asked.

‘Landscaping plan’

He was speaking after he received a letter from the Fine Arts Department, which demanded that the Ayutthaya Elephant Palace and Royal Kraal vacate its spot inside the Ayutthaya Historical Park within one month.

Laithongrien Meephan, who owns the Ayutthaya Elephant Palace and Royal Kraal, admitted that the latest land-lease contract with the park ended on January 9.

“But we have long renewed it on an annual basis anyway,” he said. According to him, the lease fee is 10,000 baht ($325) per month.

Sukanya Baonoed, the director of the park, said the lease contract with the elephant palace had ended and “we need to reclaim the area for landscape improvement”.

Laithongrien said the park should just tell him how the landscape improvement could be done, because he was ready to oblige. He said the order for his business to leave the spot would do more harm than good.

“Humans and elephants alike will be adversely affected,” he said. Mahouts and people working in related businesses such as tour guides and tuk-tuk drivers will suffer if the elephant palace shuts down.

“We have been together for more than 20 years,” Laithongrien said. He did not believe in a claim that his business was not suitable for the park’s World Heritage status.

The Ayutthaya Historical Park has been a Unesco World Heritage Site since 1991.

Ayutthaya governor Sujin Chaichumsak suggested that the representatives of the historical park and the elephant palace should explore options and come up with a solution. THE NATION (THAILAND)

MOST VIEWED

  • Kingdom's Covid cluster cases jump to 194

    The Ministry of Health on February 25 confirmed 65 new cases of Covid-19, with 58 linked to the February 20 community transmission. The latest cluster cases include nine Vietnamese nationals, five Cambodians, one each from Korea, Singapore and Japan, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total number

  • Locations shut, dozens more Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health has closed 23 locations in connection with the February 20 community transmission of Covid-19 and summoned for testing anyone who had direct contact with affected people and places. The number of discovered related infections has risen to 76, including 39 women. In a press release,

  • Cambodia's Covid cluster cases rise to 137

    The Ministry of Health on February 24 recorded 40 more cases of Covid-19, with 38 linked to the February 20 community transmission. Of the 40, two are imported cases involving Chinese passengers. The 38 include two Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total cases

  • Covid cluster raises alarm, health bodies urge vigilance

    The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia have expressed great concern over the February 20 cluster transmission of Covid-19 in the community. Both entities appealed for vigilance and cooperation in curbing further spread of the virus. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said

  • PM confirms third Covid-19 community transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on February 20 announced the Kingdom's third outbreak of Covid-19 community transmission after 32 people tested positive in just over 10 hours. Addressing the public from his residence after an emergency meeting, Hun Sen said: "I dub it February 20 Community Event, in which 32 cases

  • Cambodia to make auto-rickshaws

    Locally-assembled electric auto-rickshaws could hit the Cambodian market as soon as early in May after the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) gave the greenlight to an investment project at the weekend. According to a CDC press release, it will issue a final registration