Chana fishermen renew their battle against industrial park, ready to join rally in Bangkok on Monday
Fishermen from Songkhla’s Chana district gathered in Sakom sub-district on Friday to renew their fight against plans to turn Chana into a “Prototype City of Advanced Futuristic Industries”.
Chana Hospital’s director Dr Supat Hasuwannakit was also present at the rally.
The villagers brought along more than 30 fishing boats and wore green bands on their arms to symbolise their battle to “Save Chana”.
Supat said the villagers were fighting to save the 20,000 rai of land they live on from being taken for the Chana industrial park project. At least three sub-districts will be affected by the project, he said.
Supat added that the first step the government should take is to pause the project and conduct the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) that it had promised but never completed.
The protesters, meanwhile, said they were not totally against the project, but wanted it to be developed sustainably.
They also raised the following points in their statement:
• That the government keep its promise to conduct an SEA on December 14 before it finalises plans to build the industrial estate.
• All work on the industrial park and the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) should be paused as the committee in charge is not neutral and is only conducting the survey online, which is not accessible to all.
• The authorities should stop legal proceedings against the 37 protesters who were arrested on December 6 and later released.
The villagers said they will hand in their demands at Government House on Monday and are calling for more supporters to join their rally.
Meanwhile, the Chana Rakthin Network has announced that it will return to protesting outside Government House on Monday. Many religious schools in the South have indicated they may join the protest.