Impunity in Attacks on Activists (Bangkok, July 30, 2011) – The Thai government should urgently and thoroughly investigate the murder on July 28, 2011, of Thongnak Sawekchinda, a prominent environmental activist in Samut Sakhon province, Human Rights Watch said today. More than 20 environmentalists and human rights defenders have been killed in Thailand since 2001, and few of those responsible have been held to account.
New report highlights need for sound environment and development policy framework in post-election Burma Bangkok, Thailand: A new report highlights how Burma lacks any meaningful frameworks on environmental protection and sustainable development that would enable citizens to take part in decision-making about their country’s development, despite a recent transition to a military-dominated parliamentary political system. Land tenure remains weak and there are no safeguards in place to protect farmers, according to the groundbreaking report by the Burma Environment Working Group (BEWG), which is the first ever to take aim at Burma’s environment as a whole.
Burma’s largest coal mine and coal-fired power plant, located thirteen miles from Burma’s famous Inle Lake in Shan State, are polluting waterways, threatening the health of local populations, and displacing villages, according to a report released on 20 Jan.
Shan activists are calling on China to immediately halt all investment in dams on the Salween River following the recent heavy fighting between the Burmese military regime and the Kokang ceasefire army near the site of the Upper Salween Dam planned by Chinese companies in northern Shan State.