THAI GOVT accepts protesters demand over forest housing.

ENVIRONMENTAL activists in the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai claimed victory after the country's military government agreed in talks last Sunday not to use forested land to develop a develop luxury property.

It follows a protest in Chiang Mai last week in which more than 1,000 demonstrators protested against the construction of  a government luxury housing project earmarked-

As homes for judges on land in the foothills of the province's famous Doi Suthep mountains.

Last week's gathering was one of the largest since Thailand's junta took power following a 2014 coup.

It was also one of a growing number of anti-government protests around Thailand, including in the capital Bangkok, that are putting pressure on the military government before a general election planned for early 2019.

Green ribbons symbolising the environmental movement  have appeared in public places  in Chiang Mai, including on lamp posts and on cars, over the past week.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha sent a minister from the  Prime Minister's office, to Chiang Mai on Sunday to talk to the protest leaders.

''We have concluded that no one will be living this housing estate, the minister said after a meeting with the activists, adding that the area ''will eventually be restored to the forest.''

Activists hailed the decision as a victory. [Reuters]


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