By Pratch Rujivanarom
The leading activists from Save Andaman from Coal and Songkhla-Pattani Anti-Coal Network held at a press conference at Thammasart University on Wednesday. They said they would continue their peaceful protest in front of Government House until the government accepted their terms for the sake of livelihood protection, ensuring sustainable development, and preserving a clean environment for locals and tourist businesses.
A leading member of Save Andaman from Coal, Prasitchai Nu-nuan, pointed out that there was no reason to build any new coal-fired power plants in the country. Prasitchai urged the government to comply with all of their demands to terminate both coal-fired power plant projects, dismiss the legal cases against all activists, and allow representatives from the public to jointly develop the Power Development Plan 2018 with the Energy Policy and Planning Office.
Prasitchai said the government would have five days to consider the anti-coal-fired power plant groups’ demands. If the deadline ended without a satisfactory response from the government, the groups would put on more pressure by intensifying their peaceful protest in the capital.
The leading member of Thepa coal-fired power plant opposition group and Chana Hospital director, Dr Suphat Hasuwankit, stressed that the government has no credibility left in his opinion. Its promise to postpone both coal-fired power plant projects for three more years was just a political game to downplay the already intense sentiment against the regime.
“A three-year postponement of both power plant projects means nothing. It is only an effort to lower the public pressure against the government over their intention to build harmful power plant projects,” Suphat said.
“In the meantime, the government still allows Egat (Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand) to continue its flawed EHIA (Environmental and Health Impact Assessment) study – and a three-year timeframe is enough for them to complete the process and start the construction at once.”