Pattaya Daily News

17 February 2013 :: 16:02:17 pm 71952

Heated Protest Erupts At New Rayong Coal Plant

A coalition of more than 300 people held a mass protest at a new coal-producing plant in Rayong being built, despite continued opposition. Former prominent Thai politicians joined the protestors, who said the illegal factory will poison the area and residents with pollutants.
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RAYONG – February 16, 2013 [Pattaya Daily News]; at 12 noon, more than 300 protestors representing a coalition of organizations gathered to oppose a new coal plant that they claim violates environmental regulations and should not be built.

The protest was held at the front of Thai General Nice Coal and Coke, Co., Ltd., which produces coke coal. It is located on the bypass road route 36 Tambon Huay Pong, Amphur Nikomphattana, Rayong province.

The protestors included several prominent people, including Admiral Bannawit Kengrean, the former Deputy Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Defense. He is also the chairman of popular assembly of Thailand, and the chairman of Seang Prachachon Thai Co., Ltd., the satellite television station “Siamthai” on channel 13.

 

Other prominent protestors included Mr. Chaiwat Sinsuwong, the former founder of the Phalangtharm party and the former minister of the Ministry of Industry, and the secretary of the popular assembly of Thailand; and Mr. Sombul Thongburan, the senator; and Mr. Wutthiphong Preabjariyawat and Mr. Khajornsak Janmanee, representing the cadre of the local people who had all joined to protest in front of the coal power plant.

They protestors demanded that factory officials answer charges that the factory encroaches on the public marshland, and whether the factory employs illegal foreign workers as has been claimed.b However, protestors could not enter into factory, because the entrance doors had been locked by handcuffs and guarded by more than 50 uniformed police and plainclothes officers from Amphur Nikom Phatthan.

The protestors then held their rally outside the entrance, where they made speeches to oppose the construction of the factory. The protestors said that the location of the factory is not suitable because it is within the community, and they were afraid that the factory will cause vast pollution. The factory is also too close to the herb garden of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.

But protestor said the factory owners didn’t listen to the voice of people, and have continued construction without permission until the factory is almost finished. Admiral Bannawit Kengrean said that the action to continue construction of the factory, despite being challenged, is illegal and the owners didn’t get permission to construct the factory.

If the company is allowed to operate, it will cause pollution to the environment and the health of people in Rayong province, he said. The effects of pollution may be far reaching, and harmful particulates may disperse to Bangkok that is only 200 km away. It will be difficult to solve the problem later once the factory gets established, he said.

This new factory formerly had its production base in China at Theansin city, but the opposition from Chinese people about the pollution caused the owners to relocate the factory to Thailand, which will be faced with the similar pollution, protestors said.

The company is continuing to operate to construct illegally by violating the commandment to stop constructing, which for this matter the Admiral said he will submit a complaint to the Land Ombudsman to consider further.

Reporter : Nattaphummint   Photo : Nattaphummint   Category : Community News

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