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Govt Halts Coal Power Plant Plan, Protest Called Off

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Govt Halts Coal Power Plant Plan, Protest Called Off

By Teeranai Charuvastra, Staff Reporter



Protesters Tuesday in front of the United Nation headquarters.


BANGKOK — The military government on Tuesday said it has withdrawn its plan to study and construct a coal-fired power plant in southern Thailand following more than a week of protests and a hunger strike.


The concession came at the last minute before demonstrators were set to march on the junta’s seat of power Tuesday morning. Campaign leaders called it a victory and agreed to call off the protest.


Full story: http://www.khaosodenglish.com/politics/2018/02/20/govt-halts-coal-power-plant-plan-strikers-call-off-protest/

-- © Copyright Khaosod English 2018-02-20
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Coal plant opponents declare victory after deal struck with government

By Pratch Rujivanarom 
The Nation




Opponents of plans to build coal-fired power plants in Krabi and Songkhla ended their hunger strike and declared victory on Tuesday after Environmental and Health Impact Assessment studies were cancelled.


Energy Minister Siri Jiraphanpong met protesters in front of the United Nations building in Bangkok to negotiate an end to their dispute.


It was agreed to let Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEA) determine the fate of the two projects.


They agreed that the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand would withdraw its impact assessments on the projects within three days and formally notify the opponents in writing.


The Energy Ministry will then have neutral academics oversee the SEA, in which the suitability of the power plants’ construction in both locations will be considered.


The projects’ fate based on the SEA results will be decided within nine months.


If the power plants are deemed unsuitable, it was agreed, the authority will abandon the plans. If they are deemed suitable, impact assessments will be conducted by neutral academics.


It was further agreed that all lawsuits between Egat and the protesters will be terminated.


Siri on behalf of the government and five representatives of the opponents signed a memorandum of understanding formalising their compromise.


Prasitchai Nu-nuan, a leader of Save Andaman from Coal, called the breakthrough a momentous success for opponents of the power plants, who are confident – if the SEA studies are done properly – that the projects will be abandoned.


The meeting ended amid cheers, songs and keepsake photos before the protesters cleaned up the site and headed home.



-- © Copyright The Nation 2018-02-20

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Put on hold until after the election, when ever that will be.

As for "neutral academics" gotta be the joke of the day.

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I'm yet another voice who doesn't believe that Kim Jong- Prayuth - a military man who as we know hates criticism or losing - will take this lying down.


In my mind I'm trying to think how the junta's PR department might try to creatively handle this.

Perhaps give it a few months, then suggest somewhere else in the southern region that might express less resistance?

I'm sure there are lots of possibilities for a group who hates to lose and needs to have the last word to avoid that unacceptable "loss of face".

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There was a peaceful protest not long ago in CM against the building over of natural waterways with the expansion of the super highway. The protesters got their way and the construction company agreed to not build over X amount of the canal. Couple of months went by. Then I read that the construction company had just gone ahead and built over the canal anyway, despite the agreement. Probably won't happened in this story, but you never know...

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Coal-fired electricity projects deal struck

By Pratch Rujivanarom, 
Somchai Samart 
The Nation 





AS THE GOVERNMENT backed down, coal-fired power plant protesters yesterday announced victory and ended a hunger strike – although there were concerns that their disputes with a pro-coal group in their home provinces would remain. 


Shortly before the activists were due to begin a march from their protest site in front of the United Nations building in Rachadamnoen Avenue to Government House, Energy Minister Siri Jiraphanpong rushed to cut a deal with them.




A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed, promising to review the projects. This would mean the withdrawal of the Environmental and Health Impact Assessment (EHIA) for the plant projects in Krabi and Songkhla’s Thepa District within three days. 


The MoU takes the projects back to square one, as it would take at least two years to conduct new EHIAs. 




A Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) to consider the suitability of coal-fired power plant projects in these areas, will also be conducted within nine months, according to the MoU.


If SEA was not approved, the Egat would have to derminate the project permanently.


Meanwhile, all lawsuits between the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat), the owner of both coal-fired power plant projects, and the activists, will also be withdrawn.


Mhid Chaitem, a resident of Ban Pak Bang in Thepa District, praised the Energy Ministry’s promise, as the SEA study would bring the local natural resources and livelihood of the people into consideration to judge whether a coal-fired power plant project should be located there.


“We oppose the coal-fired power plant project, because the entire process of the EHIA did not really involve all stakeholders and was based on incorrect information about the local natural resources and people’s livelihoods,” Mhid said.


“Therefore we are sure that the SEA, which will be done by a neutral academic, will clearly point out that our home is not suitable for a polluting coal-fired power plant and eventually end the project with an academic conclusion.” 


However, he said he still doubted the sincerity of the government and vowed that he would keep monitoring the SEA study, which will be overseen by the Energy Ministry, to make sure that it is done properly.


Meanwhile, about 100 members of Thepa residents network for sustainable development gathered in the district to express their disagreement with the deal. They also threatened to rally in the capital and take the minister to the court for malfeasance. 




Mhid said he was concerned about potential conflict at home, because the power plant supporters would be even more hostile to the opposition group and the split within the community would be even wider.




However, Songkhla Chamber of Commerce Chairman Wissapong Sirithananonkul said the local business community supported the deal to bring the project back to square one.


“The project is necessary for energy security. The deal might cause delay but it’s better if the project is environmentally friendly and has no problem with local residents,” he said. “The new EHIA process should be conducted transparently with true public participation.” 


Krabi coal-fired power plant protester Akradej Chakjinda said he was sure that the government would keep its promise this time, as the Energy Minister personally signed the MoU and the group would file a lawsuit, if the government broke the agreement.


Akradej also said that, as a result of the MoU, Egat would have to withdraw three defamation lawsuits against the activists – one case against him and two against Prasitchai Nu-nuan.




However, he stated that the case against 17 coal-fired power plant protesters from the demonstration crackdown in Songkhla was not covered by this MoU, because it had already been considered by a court.


Meanwhile, Egat said that its executives were meeting with the Cabinet yesterday evening to listen to the new direction to secure power security in the South. There would be further updates about the alternative power-generating plan if these two projects were permanently revoked.


Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30339339

-- © Copyright The Nation 2018-02-21

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11 hours ago, webfact said:

There would be further updates about the alternative power-generating plan if these two projects were permanently revoked.


To have further updates means there is an alternative power-generating plan.

Probably developed after the original EHIA but never published.


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Look at all the professional protesters! These are people who do not work for a living, but get paid by environmental organizations to go to media covered places to protest. My advice is get a job, you lazy people!



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52 minutes ago, Stargrazer9889 said:

These are people who do not work for a living, but get paid by environmental organizations to go to media covered places to protest.

And how do you know this?
Might your criticism be influenced by what appears to be women wearing a headscarf worn by Muslim women?

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BANGKOK 17 August 2018 04:16